COVID-19 and People with HIV

Content From: HIV.govUpdated: September 14, 20239 min read


HIV and COVID-19. HIV Basics. CDC.

How Does COVID-19 Affect People with HIV?

We are still learning about COVID-19 and how it affects people with HIV. Nearly half of people in the United States with diagnosed HIV are ages 50 and older. People with HIV also have higher rates of certain underlying health conditions. Older age and underlying medical conditions can make people more likely to get very sick if they get COVID-19. This is especially true for people with advanced HIV or people with HIV who are not on treatment.

People at increased risk for severe illness, and those who live with or visit them, should take precautions (including getting vaccinated and wearing a well-fitting mask) to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

Visit COVID-19 and HIV FAQs from CDC for the latest information.

Feeling sick? If you have symptoms, take a COVID-19 test immediately. If the test is positive, follow CDC’s steps to take when you are sick. Keep taking your HIV medicine as prescribed. This will help keep your immune system healthy. If you are not taking HIV medicine, talk to your healthcare provider about the benefits of getting on HIV treatment. Learn about other key times to get tested.

COVID-19 Treatment. If you test positive and are more likely to get very sick, treatments are available that can reduce your chances of hospitalization and death. Contact a healthcare provider right away or visit a Test to Treat location to see if you’re eligible for treatment, even if your symptoms are mild right now. Don’t delay: COVID-19 treatment must be started within days after you first develop symptoms to be effective. But be aware: some COVID-19 treatments can interact with antiretroviral therapy (ART) used to treat HIV. If you have HIV, let your healthcare provider know before starting COVID-19 treatment. For people without HIV who are on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), there is no evidence that currently available medicine used to treat COVID-19 will interact with HIV PrEP.

COVID-19 Vaccines and People with HIV

CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations have been updated as of September 12. This page will be updated to align with the new recommendations. Learn more.

Get vaccinated. CDC recommends everyone—including people with HIV—stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines for their age group. According to CDC, here’s what you need to know:

COVID-19 vaccine recommendations will be updated as needed.

Vaccine safety. COVID-19 vaccines are safe for people with HIV. COVID-19 vaccines meet the Food and Drug Administration’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality and people with HIV were included in vaccine clinical trials.

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines interfere with ART or with PrEP to prevent HIV. Learn more about vaccine safety.

If you have questions about getting COVID-19 vaccine and whether it is right for you, talk to your health care provider.

Visit or call 1-800-232-0233 to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.


Long COVID is broadly defined as a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems that people experience after getting COVID-19. Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks, but anyone who gets COVID-19 can experience Long COVID.

There is no test that determines if your symptoms or condition is due to COVID-19. Long COVID is not one illness. Your healthcare provider considers a diagnosis of Long COVID based on your health history, including if you had a diagnosis of COVID-19 either by a positive test or by symptoms or exposure, as well as doing a health exam. The best way to prevent Long COVID is to protect yourself and others from getting a severe case of COVID-19, including by staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.

Studies have shown that some groups of people may be affected more by Long COVID. This includes people who had underlying health conditions prior to COVID-19. Health inequities may also put some people from racial or ethnic minority groups and some people with disabilities at greater risk for developing Long COVID. However, scientists are still working to understand which people or groups of people are more likely to have Long COVID, and why. Some of this research is being coordinated by NIH’s RECOVER initiativeExit Disclaimer.

Learn more about Long COVID and its symptoms.

COVID-19 and HIV: Federal Resources

Below are resources about COVID-19 from agencies across the federal government for people with HIV and the health care providers and organizations who work with them. Information is regularly being updated as we learn more in this evolving situation.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)

Indian Health Service (IHS)

  •—This web page provides Information specific to the federal response in Indian Country.

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • Overview of the Impacts of Long COVID on Behavioral Health—This report discusses the cognitive and psychiatric impacts of Long COVID, including the impacts on those with pre-existing mental and substance use disorders and racial/ethnic minorities.
  •—This site provides guidance and resources on the prevention and treatment of those with mental health and SUD as it relates to COVID-19, including links to fact sheets on managing stress during COVID-19.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

  • Health+ Long COVID Report—This report brings the experiences of people with Long COVID to the forefront in defining solutions.
  • National Research Action Plan on Long COVID—This report provides a unified overview of ongoing federal research on Long COVID, including over 75 research projects and hundreds of published articles. It also lays out a path for future inquiry.
  • Services and Supports for Longer-Term Impacts of COVID-19—This report outlines over 200 federally funded programs, supports and services, from housing and financial assistance programs to child care support, that may be available to those impacted by Long COVID.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration for Community Living

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

  • HUD HOPWA COVID-19 Guidance and Resources—This page offers COVID-19 guidance, webinars, and other COVID-19 resources for the grantees of HUD’s Housing Opportunities for People with AIDS (HOPWA) Program.

U.S. Department of State

  • PEPFAR’s HIV Response in the Context of COVID-19—The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. This resource outlines PEPFAR’s ongoing HIV response in the context of COVID-19.